Steven Plaut Commentary/Satire/FWD Articles
1. You can tell that things are really REALLY going well in Israel
when Haaretz, the Palestinian newspaper printed in Hebrew, reports
that Israelis by and large despise the Left.
Which of course does not stop the Haaretz spin that fills the
paper. The banner headline at the top of page 1 of today's Hebrew
Haaretz reads, "The majority of the public holds leftist points of
view but detests the Left." You can see the watered down English
The story is based on a public opinion survey conducted by a
Far-Leftist propaganda group, which Haaretz calls a think tank. The
propaganda group is called Molad - The Center for Renewal of
Democracy. It was run until recently by arch anti-Zionist Avraham
Burg. Burg is a vile scumbag who compares Israel with Nazi Germany
(see http://stevenplaut.blogspot.co.il/2009_02_01_archive.html ).
Involved in shady business "deals" in Israel, he moved to France years
ago, but continues to try to undermine Israel from a nice safe
This Molad hired one Jim Gerstein to run a public opinion survey
for it and Haaretz describes him as a leading pollster from America.
In Haaretz' words, he is "a leading American pollster who worked for
Ehud Barak during the then-Labor politician's campaign for prime
minister." Well, knowing a thing or three about American public
opinion surveying, I had never heard of Comrade Gerstein. It turns
out he is a "pollster" for Tablet, the hippy leftist Jewish magazine
best described as Tikkun-Lite. He spends the rest of his time working
for "J Street," whose "J" we all know stands for "jihad." (See
Well, Gerstein is about as serious a pollster as I am a
ballerina. But the story is still noteworthy because even his "poll"
finds that Israelis hate the Left. He claims to find that 63% of
Israelis have a solidly negative opinion of the Left (it is not clear
if Gerstein included Arabs in his survey). Left bashing is even
stronger among young Israelis.
And what about the Haaretz headline, claiming that most Israelis
actually hold leftist opinions? Well, you can comb the entire article
and you will not find anything that backs this headline "inference" by
the newspaper of the thinking jihadist. The poll does find that most
Israelis think the current government does not have solutions for the
country's socioeconomic problems, and that the parties of the Right
tend to promote their own interests over national interests. But that
hardly means that Israelis are leftists. Hell, I agree with THOSE
statements, and I have been accused of making Attila the Hun look like
The Haaretz "news" story is accompanied by a long whine by Yossi
"Call me Ishmael" Sarid, printed as a news story, here:
As you see, Sarid complains that the Left has had trouble "marketing
the truth," which of course shows that he still thinks that the Left
tells the truth about things. He concludes that it is not the Left's
fault that it is hated. Whose fault is it? The dingo who et his
2. The Anti-Semitic Left
Wistrich on ‘the Left, the Jews and Israel'
By Isi Liebler
Candidly speaking: Wistrich’s analysis of the linkage of these
revolutionaries with the Left’s contemporary abandonment of Israel is
a major intellectual and scholastic achievement.
Robert Wistrich, Hebrew University professor of European and Jewish
History and director of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the
Study of anti-Semitism, has just published his 29th book titled From
Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews and Israel.
It is an impressive tome of over 600 pages and follows his monumental
seminal work A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the
Global Jihad, published in 2010 and now recognized as the definitive
work on the world’s oldest hatred, and an indispensable text for
In a fascinating preface to his new book, Wistrich provides a brief
autobiographical sketch. His father had originally been a supporter of
the illegal Polish Communist Party in pre-war Krakow but became
alienated from Stalinist communism after being arrested by the NKVD.
He and his wife, who had experienced bitter Polish anti-Semitism,
survived the Holocaust by fleeing to Kazakhstan, where Wistrich was
He was educated in England, and to use his words, was “radicalized” in
grammar school and later at Stanford University. He first visited
Israel in 1961, returning in 1969 when he was appointed editor of the
left-wing Israeli journal, New Outlook. However his passion for the
Jewish state led to a parting of the ways with the Israeli far left.
Robert became increasingly engaged in academic scholarship related to
anti- Semitism, received a senior appointment at the Hebrew
University, and is now recognized as the world’s foremost scholar in
From Ambivalence to Betrayal is a historic review and analysis of the
abandonment of the Jewish people by the left from the early 19th
century until the present. It also relates to the extraordinarily
disproportionate number of socialist thinkers and leaders who were of
Jewish origin and seeks to explain what motivated so many of them, in
the course of their utopian and futile efforts to “repair the world,”
to abandon their people and their heritage and frenetically seek to
deny their kinsmen the right to self-determination.
The introductory essay is a brilliant overview of the contemporary
Jewish political arena viewed in the context of the concurrent rise of
Zionism, Communism, anti-Semitism and Nazism. It focuses strongly on
the hypocrisy of the existing left, which has become obsessed with
demonization and delegitimization of the Jewish state.
Wistrich demonstrates the extent to which today’s radical anti-
Zionists, despite purporting to represent the left, often share the
identical obsessions and delusions concerning the alleged malignant
influence of the Jews in the modern world as classical fascist
Wistrich provides fascinating and innovative insights on left-wing
revolutionaries. He skillfully relates the connection of “the prefigured 19th century
sea-bed of anti-Semitic socialism found in Marx, Fourier and Proudhon,
extending through to the orthodox Communists and ‘non-conformist’
Trotskyites to the Islamo-leftist hybrids of today who systematically
vilify the so called racist essence of the Jewish State.”
His analysis of the linkage of these revolutionaries with the left’s
contemporary abandonment of Israel is a major intellectual and
scholastic achievement and provides an intriguing insight into the
sources of the far left’s current application of double standards and
anti- Israel venom.
Wistrich reviews in depth the attitude towards the Jews adopted by
many of the great socialist revolutionaries of Jewish origin like Karl
Marx, Bernard Lazare, Moses Hess, Ferdinand LaSalle, Karl Kautsky,
Victor Adler, Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Trotsky, Bruno Kreisky, Isaac
Deutscher and others.
His chapter on Leon Trotsky, entitled “A Bolshevik’s Tragedy,” is a
masterful essay which breaks new ground on this extraordinary,
charismatic Jewish revolutionary who desperately sought to repudiate
his Jewish origins. Yet, despite achieving the reputation of being
“the most intransigent of revolutionary Bolsheviks,” Trotsky was
ultimately forced by Stalin into assuming the traditional Jewish role
in society and became reviled as the scapegoat for the failures of the
Wistrich highlights the fact that many of today’s anti-Jewish Jews
inherited the mantle of the 19th and early 20th century anti-Semitic
Jewish radical revolutionaries. Yet he stresses that these renegade
Jews have vastly exceeded the anti-Semitic tirades of their
predecessors and even to the extent of allying themselves with
reactionary clerical zealots and jihadists, who represent the
antithesis of their purported world outlook.
He points to their public support and endorsement of terrorists and
religious fanatics, noting that even the most extreme early
anti-Jewish revolutionaries like Marx, Engels, Kautsky, Rosa Luxemburg
or Trotsky “would never have remained silent about Shari’a law,
censorship, female genital mutilation, honor killings, suicide
bombings, or making the world safe for Allah’s rule,” and rarely
resorted to outright racist outbursts like their current successors.
Nor would they have gone to the extreme of allying themselves with
those explicitly committed to our physical destruction.
Wistrich asserts that Holocaust inversion, now a major component of
the Left’s effort to besmirch Israel, while initially introduced by
British historian Arnold Toynbee who referred to Zionists as
“disciples of the Nazis,” was in fact institutionalized as the
“Zionist- Nazi” nexus at the Prague Trials orchestrated from Moscow.
He reminds us that it was post-war Jewish Marxists who encouraged the
left’s current paranoia and “anti-racist” racism against Israel. As an
example he quotes the Polish-born Jewish biographer of Trotsky, Isaac
Deutscher, who already in 1967 described Israel as the “Prussia of the
Middle East” and a bastion of “racial Talmudic exclusiveness and
It was the Soviets who, in 1975, succeeded in passing a UN resolution
bracketing Zionism and racism. While this was ultimately rescinded in
December 1991, it remains today the central plank in the Arab-leftist
efforts to criminalize Israel and brand it as a state engaging in war
The concluding chapters review the anti-Zionist myths, many of which
seem to have been directly replicated from Nazi propaganda and are
today enthusiastically promoted by the Marxist Islamist alliance who
regard Israel as the “Jew of the nations” fulfilling a dark
preordained fate as an eternal scapegoat.
Wistrich relates to the quasi-religious belief of these groups that
“the world will only be ‘liberated’ by the downfall of America and the
defeat of the Jews. This chiliastic fantasy has today emerged as a notable point of fusion
between the radical anti-Zionist left in the West and the global
jihad. Revolutionary anti-Semitism has become an increasingly
important factor in cementing the anti-capitalist populism, much as it
was during the birth pangs of modern socialism over 150 years ago.”
This is a magisterial work, providing a comprehensive understanding of
the origins of the most pernicious challenges currently facing the
Jewish people – especially those originating from the enemy within.
It will be especially valuable to those directly engaged in the
struggle to neutralize the evil efforts against Israel by the
left-Islamic alliance and its acolytes of Jewish origin.
3. Semantic perversion:
4. Environmental terror:
5. Syria is not the only place with beleaguered Alawites. It is not
well known but there is a village of Alawites on Israel's border with
Lebanon, in Israel's liberated Golan Heights. It is called Ghajar or
Rajar. It has been the focus of some political conflict - Lebanon
claims the village belongs to Lebanon, Israel - says not. The village
has been split since the dark days of Ehud NeBARAKnezzer Barak, with
half officially in Israel. Villagers from both halves have Israeli
citizenship, although some also have Lebanese passports. The locals
want to remain in Israel, what with all the nice meals and jobs and
all that they enjoy as Israelis.
Problem is that some of the villagers are demonstrating their
solidarity with the Asads and the Syrian Alawite junta by engaging in
terrorism and espionage. See this:
So how about we in Israel help out the suffering Syrian population
by sending them some nice Alawites to help clean up the rubble?
No More Monopoly over Education
by Dror Eydar
One must read the embarrassing letter written by the Committee of
University Heads (which includes the heads of all seven of Israel's
research universities) to the Israel Defense Forces' GOC Central
Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon to understand exactly who is at the helm
of our country's higher education, and how essential and urgent it is
to open up this exclusive club to fresh new members.
In its letter, the committee argues that it is problematic for an IDF
officer to decide to grant university status to an educational
institution (in this case, the Ariel University Center in Samaria),
but at the same time, the committee urges the same officer to make a
decision not to approve the university status.
One of the parties involved told me recently: "This is tantamount to
an attorney telling a judge, 'My client did not murder his parents,
but if what the prosecution is saying is true, I'm asking you to show
leniency to my client because he is an orphan.'"
It is very interesting that all of a sudden Rivka Carmi, the president
of Ben-Gurion University and the chairwoman of the committee, is
asking a military figure to intervene in the shaping of Israel's
higher education. It is ironic that the so-called enlightened ones are
suddenly pinning their hopes on militarism as a life saver.
Here is an infuriating historic moment: the establishment of the
Council for Higher Education's Planning and Budgeting Committee. On
May 17, 1977, the conservative camp won the general election, assuming
leadership of Israel for the first time after 50 years of left-wing
hegemony (since 1931). On June 20, 1977, Menachem Begin was sworn in
as prime minister. In the interim, the Left was in hysterics and
launched a frantic effort to cement its other strongholds outside the
government. On June 6, three weeks after the election and two weeks
before the new government was sworn in, the leftist interim government
deviously transferred authority over the higher education budget (and
more) from the government's hands into the hands of the Planning and
Budgeting Committee, or, in other words, into the hands of the
academic establishment. In short, anything to prevent the Likud
savages from gaining control over higher education as well.
Now do you understand why no new universities have been established
since? (The last Israeli institution to be granted the status of a
university – Haifa University – was established in 1972.) Now do you
understand why Israeli academia is, in large part, a political
fortress opposite any conservative government? Do you understand why
the quest for Ariel's university status is not just about a university
in Samaria but also a struggle for academic freedom and freedom of
independent thought within Israel's academia?
If you try to be hired at any of Israel's universities with a
conservative (right-wing) resume, you will find that even if your
academic achievements outrank those of your leftist colleagues, the
underlying test question will be whether or not you belong to their
exclusive club. Does this remind anyone of the current situation in
the Israeli media or in the Israeli justice system? There is reason
for that. Academia, the media and the justice system are the three
leftist strongholds that the conservative camp is having trouble
infiltrating. But their immunity will not last forever. The leftist
hegemony is beginning to crumble on all three fronts, and all three
strongholds are heading toward extensive pluralism and healthy
friction between opposing viewpoints.
The Committee of University Heads knew for seven years that the
institution in Ariel was seeking university status. But a week before
the decision to grant it university status, suddenly they jump up and
say, "It doesn't meet the criteria." Where have they been for seven
The truth is that in all the years since the establishment of Israel
there have never been any such criteria. If such criteria for the
establishment of universities had been in place, Ben-Gurion University
would never have been established in 1969, nor would Haifa University.
Who decided to establish new universities over the years? It was the
government, and only the government. And it was the government that
decided to grant university status to the school in Ariel now.
In the history of Israel, never has a university been established
without any opposition from the existing universities that preceded
it. I spoke with someone who attended the committee that decided on
the establishment of Tel Aviv University in the 1950s. He told me
about the fiery opposition voiced in that forum by Hebrew University's
Professor Ben Zion Dinur: "Degrees will roll around freely," he
reportedly said. "Woe to higher education."
Ironically, only Ariel actually met the strict criteria that were
instituted especially for the occasion. Pay close attention to the
individuals who manned the evaluation committee that examined Ariel's
academic activity: Nobel Prize laureate Professor Robert Aumann
(Hebrew University); Professor Amos Altshuler (Ben-Gurion University);
Professor Meir Wilchek (Weizmann Institute); Professor David Hasson
(Technion); the late Professor Yuval Neeman (Tel Aviv University); and
Professor Daniel Sperber (Bar Ilan Univeristy).
How is Emanuel Trajtenberg, the chairman of the Planning and Budgeting
Committee, or the Committee of University Heads more authoritative
than these renowned professors, who determined that Ariel did in fact
meet the necessary criteria? What do the former know that the latter
have yet to learn? One of Israel's most veteran professors, who was
involved in the establishment of previous universities, said to me:
"You want to know why there is opposition? They want monopoly. That is
all. Everything else is excuses, including the budget issue. These are
just empty arguments to hang onto. They want monopoly."
In conclusion: Ariel University will flourish as Israel's eighth
university and pose a profound Zionist challenge to the old academic